Celebrating 650 years at the heart of the community

From the left, Brian Spence, Iain Bedson and Derek Hansord, who are organising the 650th anniversary celebrations at St Matthew's Churchm Rastrick.
From the left, Brian Spence, Iain Bedson and Derek Hansord, who are organising the 650th anniversary celebrations at St Matthew's Churchm Rastrick.

St Matthew’s Church in Rastrick is preparing for a special celebration to mark 650 years of worship.

The present church building, which dates from 1798 is the third place of worship on the site. The first chapel, a small building with just two rooms, was put up in 1363.

The congregation will be joining in a festival of celebration involving the Rastrick community from September 21 to 28.

One of the organisers, Brian Spence, said: “Rastrick is a much older settlement and centre of worship than Brighouse. There has been a church serving the people of Rastrick for 650 years.

“It is an active church and the Parish Centre is used by 500 people a week for a wide variety of activities. We have been organising a number of events to mark this special anniversary.”

On Saturday, September 21 the church will be open to visitors from 10am to 4pm with floral displays, exhibitions and musical performances by children from five Rastrick schools.

In the evening the highlight of the celebrations will be a musical extravaganza at 7.30pm with songs from the shows including The Sound of Music, Les Miserables and Singing in the Rain. Tickets are now available from 01484 718825 or 716264.

On Sunday, September 22 the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract, will conduct a celebration service. There will be a harvest supper on Saturday, September 28.